This how to stop shopping post is sponsored by my FREE Budgeting for Beginners Starter Kit
I hear you Pearls! “You’ve shown us how to start a budget and you’ve shown us how to save crazy amounts of money with meal planning. But can you please show us how to stop shopping for things we really don’t need? How do we stop the urge to shop?”
That’s exactly what I’m going to help you with today!
- Trick to Stop Overspending
- How to Start a Budget for Beginners
- How to Start Meal Planning on a Budget
- Our Real Life Family Budget (All the Numbers!)
First You Need a Budget
If you need help with kicking your shopping habit, you first need to set a basic budget. A budget is a GOOD THING! You get to tell every dollar what you want it to do.
You need to decide where you value most, then every dollar spent needs to reflect that.
Your budget is going to let you decide where to spend your money and keep you safe all at the same time. If you decide that you want to set aside money each month for shopping, you can do that! The key is to make sure that you have the cash set aside BEFORE you go shopping!
To help you get started in setting your budget, I have a FREE Budgeting For Beginners Starter Kit that you get once you sign up for my free email newsletter.
Why You Can’t Figure Out How to Stop Shopping
When you don’t plan ahead of time and set aside the cash for every purchase, you end up spending money on things that you really don’t need. Then you’re left with zero cash in the bank when it’s time to pay the bills.
What about your goals? You have dreams of living debt free, buying your first house, or an amazing family vacation. But always feel like you barely have enough money for the bills.
That’s because you are wasting your money on things that you actually don’t need and end up wondering where your paycheck went.
You worked hard on setting a budget, but how can you control your urge to spend?
5 Tips to Stop Your Shopping Habit
1.Goal Based Budget
What goals do you have for your family’s future? What are you willing to do in order to make those goals your reality? In my online course 30 Day Family Finance Rescue I teach my students how to break their goals down into actionable financial steps that they then can include in their budget.
Keeping your goals a part of your budget makes it easy to stay motivated as you stick to your budget. Try keeping visual reminders around your house or even in your car or purse, of what you are working towards. Your goals.
That way, every time you get the urge to shop, you will have a visual reminder of what you really care about. Would you rather spend $150 on a new pair of boots, or put that cash towards your family vacation?
2. What Triggers Your Spending?
You need to identify where you are most tempted to spend. Pay attention to when and where you are triggered.
Is it a social situation? Does going out with your friends always end up with you breaking the budget? Or maybe it’s a convenience thing. Hitting up the drive thru after work multiple times a week because you are exhausted and the thought of going home to make dinner sends you into a deep sleep…
There really are a million things that could trigger your habit to spend. So it’s your responsibility to pay attention to exactly what tempts you to overspend.
3. Setup a Plan B and Plan C
After you have pinned down exactly what triggers your overspending, it’s time to set up a plan to avoid the temptation. What can you do ahead of time to avoid whatever it is that tempts you to spend.
Here are a few examples to help you brainstorm.
If going out with friends always ends up leaving you pulling out the credit card, try suggesting a potluck game night or something like a backyard bbq and home movie night.
If the drive-thru is your weakness, then meal planning is a must! Start one week at a time.
If you have kids, then I know that all the unexpected book fairs, worn out shoes, soccer sign ups, or classroom supplies can cause a major hit to your wallet. In this case you’ll want to set aside a cash budget so you have money ready to go when the time comes.
4. Create a “Want & Need” List
I have a secret weapon called our “want & need” list that is a huge tool to help us keep our spending on track. You can get all the details about this trick here.
But in a nutshell, we have a rule where I only go shopping once a month. You can see what that looks like in my monthly grocery hauls. We have a running list that hubby and I both have access to.
If something comes up that we want or need to buy, we add it to the list. Then once the next shopping trip comes along, we see what we can fit within the budget. What makes the cut all depends on our current priorities.
5. Satisfy Your Craving
What happens when you tell yourself that you can’t have something? If you’re like me, you end up wanting it even more. You can’t stop thinking about it.
That’s why I always tell our Pearls to “satisfy your craving”. Depending on what it is you want, will depend on how quickly you will be able to achieve it.
The point is not to completely deprive yourself of the fun things in life. If you love to go out to eat, set a small budget each month, or you could make copycat recipes at home for a fraction of the price and make a whole experience out of it.
Maybe you or someone in your family really needs or wants new clothes. Try doing something like selling your old clothes to a resale shop and then using the cash to invest in something “new to you” or shopping the clearance racks at the end of the season.
Do you want to travel more than anything but you have a higher priority like paying off debt standing in your way. That’s okay! Stick to your goal! But while you’re waiting, do something like an at home “travel night” where you decorate the house like your dream destination and make an authentic meal.
What Are You Going to Do?
How are you going to take action? I want you to commit right now. What is one thing you are going to start implementing today to stop spending? Leave it down in the comments so we can all cheer each other on!
Talk to you soon! Xoxo
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